New England Soccer Today

Player Ratings: New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew

After each match the contributors to New England Soccer Today will rate the performances of the Revolution players who made an appearance on a 1 to 10 scale (1 horrendous, 5 average, 10 perfection). This week Brian O’Connell and Sean Donahue contributed ratings for the Revs’ 2-2 draw against the Columbus Crew.

Matt Reis – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
Snuffed out the majority of the fires in front of him, but the miscommunication between him and Gibbs on the Lenhart goal was costly. (Brian) … Reis made a couple of big saves, including denying Phelan’s potential own goal, but was again left helpless on the Crew’s two goals thanks to sloppy defending. (Sean)

Seth Sinovic – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5, Sean 6)
Had a good game; solid at left back, but added little to the attack. (Brian) … Sinovic did a solid job on short notice shutting down the right flank. Both of the Crew’s goals came from plays that developed on the left. (Sean)

Cory Gibbs – Average Rating: 3.5 (Brian 3, Sean 4)
Played scared; tentative on incoming crosses, far too indecisive for an experienced player. (Brian) … Some more sloppy play from the defender. Allowed Lenhart to slip by him for the Crew’s first goal and generally looked uncertain. (Sean)

Darrius Barnes – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5, Sean 6)
The best in the back; marked well, allowed few opportunities. (Brian) … Put under a lot of pressure by inability of midfield to hold possession, but held up well. (Sean)

Kevin Alston – Average Rating: 4.5 (Brian 4, Sean 5)
Was slow to track back; looked injured well before he came up lame in the 33rd. (Brian) …Limited minutes due to injury. Was active getting forward early, but slow to get back and defend. (Sean)

Kenny Mansally – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
Energized the attack; also did well to defend (Brian) … Looked good again getting forward on the left flank. Helped in the build-up to the penalty and earned some dangerous free kicks. Made a few key plays defensively and is looking solid tracking back. (Sean 6)

Pat Phelan – Average Rating: 5.25 (Brian 5, Sean 5.5)
Another goal for the gritty center half, but struggled to contain Schelotto (Brian) … Scored a great goal, but nearly canceled it out with an own goal. Improved performance over Wednesday, but still needs to do better at helping the midfield maintain possession. (Sean)

Shalrie Joseph – Average Rating: 5.25 (Brian 5, Sean 5.5)
The handball in the 79th was purely bad luck; pushed forward more than usual, but failed to settle the midfield. (Brian) … Perfect finish on the penalty. Unlucky on the handball, but had done a great job before that to deny the shot. Could’ve done better in helping the midfield maintain possession. Lost possession in the Revs’ box early, but was bailed out by a sliding Osei. (Sean)

Sainey Nyassi – Average Rating: 5 (Brian 5, Sean 5)
Defended well, but crosses were lacking. Could’ve done better to create. (Brian) … Shutdown for most of the match, rarely involved in the attack. (Sean)

Marko Perovic – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5, Sean 6)
Service was good; got too cute on the buildup before the 56th minute penalty (Brian) … Led the attack once again. Great set pieces and combined well with Stolica and Mansally. (Sean)

Ilija Stolica was our man of the match against the Crew. (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

Ilija Stolica – Average Rating: 6.25 (Brian 6, Sean 6.5)
Created chances, good off the ball movement (Brian) … Great job earning the penalty and did an excellent job helping the Revs keep possession when he got the ball. (Sean)

(Sub) Emmanuel Osei – Average Rating: 5 (Brian 5, Sean 5)
Quiet game for the centerback – which is usually a good thing. (Brian) … Thrown into a tough situation when Alston went down injured. Crew’s most dangerous attacks came down his side, though he made a couple of good last ditch tackles. (Sean)

(Sub) Khano Smith – Average Rating: 2.25 (Brian 2, Sean 2.5)
Hurt the attack with bad crosses and a lethargic effort. (Brian) … Again came on to defend a lead and didn’t help. Was completely useless when the Revs were trying to get back in the lead. (Sean)

(Sub) Zack SchilawskiNR
Once again, not given the time to register an impact. (Brian)


  1. bkupp

    September 27, 2010 at 7:57 am

    You guys obviously watch the game closely – do you notice how often Reis fails to connect with a teammate on goal kicks, punts and on balls played back to him?

    He overkicks goalkicks way too often, his punts usually fail to end up with NE possession and I cringe when defenders pass back to him, because it almost always ends up getting booted back to the opposition.

    If the Revs players are unable to compete and win his long balls, why aren’t they playing the ball short and spreading the field more often (instead of sending everyone forward in a bunch)?

    This may seem like a nit, but on a team that struggles to maintain possession and spends the majority of the game defending, these needless giveaways only compound their problems.


    • Sean Donahue

      September 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      I certainly don’t disagree with you, but I’m not sure the blame falls entirely on Reis. I think he’s perfectly capable of providing good distribution, especially when throwing the ball, and we’ve seen it in the past.

      For whatever reason, when the team gets a set piece or opportunity to reset play, the mentality seems to be to get the ball as far forward as possible instead of making the safe play to keep possession. This mentality couldn’t be more obvious than when the Revs earn a throw-in near midfield or even in their own defensive third and opt to go for a long throw, which often results in a 50-50 ball, rather than throwing it short to the open man. The team relied on this strategy almost entirely last season and this season, though they have actually been doing it a little less in recent weeks. I understand the strategy of the long throw when it’s near the box, but I could never understand why a team would use it anywhere else.

      My memory could be failing my on this one, but I seem to remember Reis throwing the ball when he has possession or playing it short when he had a goal kick more frequently a few years ago. The change in his distribution seems to have coincided with the reliance in the long throw. The Revs are definitely worse at maintaining possession than they were three years ago and it seems that along with that switch, there has been an attitude switch that if they can’t keep possession, they might as well try to get the ball forward as quickly as possible and hope something breaks for them, but as you say giving away the ball that way just compounds their problems.

  2. Brian O'Connell

    September 27, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    bkupp, I was thinking the same thing during Saturday’s game, but chalked it up my fleeting memory. To echo Sean’s thoughts, I agree that it hurts in the possession department. It’s almost like he doesn’t trust his defenders to get the ball into the middle third. Shocker, I know.

  3. golazo52

    September 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    this ain’t no team mentality. it’s steve nicol speaking from the heart. The Revs are done until the roster is cleansed and we hire a new coach.

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